Introduction to a Children’s Book

When I think back to my childhood, I immediately recall the abundant amount of children’s books that I read. Whether it was alone in my bedroom, before bed time with my mom and dad or in my classrooms with my classmates, I was a sucker for books. Children’s literature consists of works such as stories, books, and poems that are produced solely for the enjoyment of young children. The stories told in children’s books are expected to teach their young readers something, whether it be something simple such as a letter of the alphabet or a color of the rainbow or something more complex such as lessons about treating people nicely or the importance of having good manners. Additionally, children’s books often evoke a sense of emotion on their readers. Children should be able to connect with the stories that they read on an emotional level which should in turn encourage them to read it over and over again.

Pictures play a large role in children’s books. The pictures in a children’s book should be able to tell a story just as well as the actual words of the story can. Children are very easily attracted towards pictures and enjoy analyzing all of the details that a picture consists of. As a result, a children’s book that contains several detailed images will usually attract a child’s attention.

I don’t think it was possible for me to pick only one favorite children’s book as a kid. I had many favorites. But one book that I continue to think back to and clearly remember my past appreciation for is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. My parents used to read me this book every night before I went to sleep when I was a young girl. And you may think that I got bored of hearing the same story over and over again every night but that was not the case. I would cry when my parents would tell me that story time was over and that it was time to go to sleep because I just wanted them to keep on reading Goodnight Moon over and over again. I was drawn towards both the pictures and the words. It was the perfect bedtime story.

Many children have special objects that they sleep with nightly, whether that object is a blanket, a stuffed animal, a pillow or so on. I think if I wrote a children’s book that told a story about a little girl and her blanket it would reach a very broad audience. This story will be based off of my own childhood experiences with my blanket. I hope that this story will show children who may feel embarrassed about having something that they cannot sleep without that this is normal and totally acceptable to have. I also hope that children can engage with both the pictures that I include and the story that I share in this book. I am excited to give this experiment a go!

Introduction to Blogging

Blogging has always played a significant role in my life. I constantly find myself scrolling through all different types of blogs: food to fashion to sports and so on. The Oxford Dictionary defines blogs as regularly updated informal web pages that are usually controlled by an individual or a small group of people. However, I find blogs to be a way for people to showcase their personality and opinions to outsiders. Regardless of what a blog may be about, the information that is shared usually shows us something about the individual writing it which is unique to this genre of writing and something that I find especially appealing. Blogs are often compared to personal diaries or journals. Additionally, blogs can cover a very wide array of topics. The only necessity is that you are passionate about what you are blogging about! Regardless of what ones interests are, they will without a doubt be able to find some sort of blog that resonates with something that they like and find interesting.

The structure of blogs is flexible. That is one of my favorite parts about this genre. You are able to make your blog unique to you! However, like for most genres, it is important that you capture your readers attention from the start so that they want to keep reading what you have written. Therefore, it is key to begin your blog with a catchy title and opening. This will introduce the reader to you as a writer and to the content that you will be blogging about. Another necessary component of a blog are images. A large block of words on a page can easily bore a reader and I know we have all experienced our fair share of that. Adding images is an easy way to engage with your reader and support the content you are writing about.

My favorite blogs to engage with are food blogs. As an avid foodie, I am always looking to try different restaurants and cuisines in all different cities. I love reading about peoples experiences at different restaurants and using these blogs to make my own eating plans when I travel to new places or am just exploring my local restaurants! These blogs allow me to connect with foodies all over the world which is something I find to be so unique and exciting. I love the pictures that many food blogs include and the detailed descriptions of what the writers favorite dishes are. I also love food blogs that include individuals recipes that they make at home. I am always looking for new recipes to try out and these food blogs give me great insight on new ideas!

I think it would be interesting to turn my origin piece about my childhood blanket into a blog. This would allow me to write about all different things relating to my blanket: stories from when I was younger, the best things about having a special childhood object, all of the places my blanket has traveled with me to and so on. I will be able to add pictures of me with my blanket from over the years which will give my readers an even greater insight into my life-long special relationship with my blanket. I am looking forward to experimenting more with this genre over the next few weeks!!

Introduction to Fairy Tales

When I think of fairytales, I automatically think of my childhood. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and the list goes on and on. Logistically speaking, fairy tales are children’s stories that include magical and imaginary features and characters. Fairy tales do not necessarily need to be stories about fairies, but typically include a few majestical characters such as elves, unicorns, goblins, dwarves and so on. Many people recognize fairy tales as stories that begin with a phrase such as “Once upon a time…” and ending with a phrase like “happily ever after”. Additionally, most fairy tales feature both good characters and evil characters often providing the plot with a conflict and a resolution. But speaking from the standpoint of a 19 year old girl who grew up reading and appreciating fairy tales all her life, fairy tales are a fantasy that may feature a villain or a witch, but always end with the perfect happy ending.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a fan of fairy tales. Nothing is more exciting than a story filled with magical characters and objects. As a young kid, I always fantasized about fairy tales relating to my own life. I recall countless playdates with friends which consisted of putting on costumes and acting out our favorite fairy tale stories. My favorite fairy tales as a child were definitely Cinderella and Snow White. My mom read me these stories as a young girl and I always followed up by watching the movies based on these fairy tales with my friends. Their inclusion of princesses, a main conflict, a villain and a happy ending appealed to me as a child and continue to appeal to me today.

I believe that writing any story, regardless of the setting, time or theme, in the form of a fairy tale can make the story more enjoyable to both write and read. Fairy tales allow people to escape reality for a moment and immerse themselves in a fantasy world for the time being. Fairy tales are an exceptionally creative, unique and special literary form. I think that writing a story about my childhood blanket in the form of a fairy tale will allow me to use my creative mind to add an interesting twist to my childhood story. Therefore, I am looking forward to the opportunity to turn a piece about an object that has a very significant meaning to me personally into a fun, lighthearted fairy tale.


Hey everyone! My name is Jessica Sommers and I am a Junior majoring in Communications and minoring in Writing. I am from Scarsdale, New York which is in the county of Westchester. I am very, very close with my family and spend a lot of time with them. Both of my parents went to the University of Michigan and met here. Because of that, my family has been kind of obnoxiously obsessed with Michigan for years. My two brothers, Ben and Ethan, are rarely found not wearing Michigan clothes. Oh and my dogs name is Maizy Blue after the Michigan colors, maize and blue. So yeah, you could say we’re a little obsessed.

Aside from spending time with my family and friends, I love to travel and eat. I always love exploring new places and cultures. I actually am studying abroad in Barcelona second semester and I can’t wait! Most importantly though, I am obsessed with food. I pretty much spend every hour of every day planning out my meals, looking at pictures of my favorite foods and talking about food with my friends. I can proudly say that I will eat everything and anything someone puts in front of me. And I can eat A LOT of it.

I am very excited to begin my journey through the Sweetland Minor in Writing program. I have always been very passionate about writing and I am very excited to experiment more with my writing skills going forward.